Hydropower project Kalivaç revisited

Albanian government re-opens the concession procedure for the Kalivaç HPP++ NGOs prepare their opposition

The unfinished Kalivaç dam. Now, a new concession shall revive its construction. © Roland Dorozhani

Tirana, Vienna, Radolfzell. After 20 years of construction postponements, the Albanian government decided to cancel the contract with the Italian Company Kalivaçi Green Energy in regards to the unfinished hydropower project (HPP) Kalivaç on the Vjosa river in Albania. Shortly after, the Ministry of Energy and Industry opened the procedures for re-issuing the concession. The interested companies can apply for the construction of the HPP according to the defined criteria until July 18th, 2017.

“The cancellation of the existing contract – which makes the Vjosa legally free from any HPP plans – offers a real chance to declare the Vjosa to the first Wild River National Park in Europe. Nonetheless, the government has decided to re-open the concession procedure, against the will of local authorities and communities, national and international stakeholders. We will vigorously fight against this project and for a dam-free Vjosa!”, says Olsi Nika from EcoAlbania and coordinator of the Vjosa campaign in Albania.

The Kalivaç project was the first hydropower plant that was issued on the Vjosa river in 1997. The construction of the dam started in 2007, but was halted several times. Initially, the main source of funding was the Italian Becchetti Group and Deutsche Bank, however, the constructions have only been completed to 30 %, leaving the river yet unimpaired.

This is not the only HPP the Albanian government tries to push through despite strong opposition. They have just appealed a decision of the Administrative Court against the construction of the HPP Poçem which was to be built just downstream of Kalivaç. “The court’s decision against Poçem, which was based on a highly deficient Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) as well as the public consultation process, indicates the flawed rule of operation inside the government. We call upon the Albanian authorities to follow national law and international standards in regards to the Kalivaç concession procedure.” so Ulrich Eichelmann, coordinator of the “Save the Blue Heart of Europe” campaign at Riverwatch.

With regard to the parliamentary election in Albania on 25th June 2017, Gabriel Schwaderer, CEO of the EuroNatur Foundation adds: “It is remarkable that the Albanian government re-opens the Kalivaç case just one month before the national elections. The government’s decision to utilize the Vjosa for hydropower instead of protecting the last wild river in Europe is of utmost consequence in regard to the accession to the EU and should not have been rushed during the election period.”  

Background information:
• The Vjosa is the last big wild river in Europe outside Russia. Entirely unobstructed, she flows through inaccessible gorges and sections with enormous gravel banks and islands on her course of almost 270 kilometers from the Pindus Mountains to the Adriatic Sea.
• The campaign “Save the Blue Heart of Europe” aims to protect the most valuable rivers in the Balkans. The campaign is coordinated by the NGOs Riverwatch and EuroNatur and carried out together with partner organisations in the Balkan countries.

Contacts:
Cornelia Wieser – Riverwatch, cornelia.wieser@riverwatch.eu, +43 650 4544784
Olsi Nika – EcoAlbania, o.nika@ecoalbania.org +355 69 29 44 757
Katharina Grund – EuroNatur,  katharina.grund(at)euronatur.org, + 49 7732 927210

Do you want to help?

Donation

Europe's natural treasures are threatened. EuroNatur takes action. Support our work with your donation!

News

Romanian natural treasure threatened by hydropower project

EuroNatur and its partner organisations run the campaigns “SaveParadiseForests” and “Save the Blue Heart of Europe” to save the river and forest gems...

Nature conservation work 2016: EuroNatur takes stock

As conservationists we face many challenges, some of which are quite overwhelming. However, the 2016 EuroNatur Annual Report shows once again that we...

Dedication to internationally significant wetland area

++ Gudrun Steinacker receives EuroNatur Award 2017 ++ German ambassador (ret.) to Montenegro strongly advocated protection of Ulcinj Salina ++

Wonderful marvels of nature

“Reward” is the fitting title of the winner of this year’s photo competition “European Treasures of Nature”. Out of approximately 4,000 images, the...

Huchen protesting at Drina Regatta

++ 20,000 people at this year's event on Drina River in Serbia ++ NGO's protested against damming the globally most important Huchen (Danube Salmon)...

Does World Heritage Status provide protection to Romanian primeval forests?

++ EuroNatur and Agent Green welcome recognition of 24,000 hectares of primeval beech forests in Romania as World Heritage ++ Nonetheless: Destruction...

Extension of Primeval Beech Forests World Heritage Site: Great Success for Dedicated Efforts

For several years, ten European countries and a number of nature conservation NGOs, including EuroNatur, had been jointly working towards the...

Forest Alert: Romanian Ministry Attacks Own Primary Forest Protection Laws

Ministry surprisingly neglects the existence of its 2005 published inventory on primary forest areas in the country.

Joy of motherhood for Maya

Great news from Macedonia: a baby Balkan lynx has been born! This is the first time scientists have succeeded in taking pictures of lynx young, since...

Building frenzy in Albanian pelican paradise

The Karavasta Lagoon at Albania’s Adriatic coast is one of the most important wetlands on the Balkans. However, a building company plans to construct...

Hydropower project Kalivaç revisited

Albanian government re-opens the concession procedure for the Kalivaç HPP++ NGOs prepare their opposition

A Network for the White Stork

From 16 to 20 May 2017, the 14th conference of European Stork Villages was held in Poros, Greece ++ Storks, too, fall victim to poaching on their...

Hunt for images of the Balkan Green Belt

Nine photo competitions – one goal: the most beautiful photograph of the Balkan Green Belt! Nine of EuroNatur’s partner organisations in the states...

Pelicans eagerly breeding on Lake Skadar

The Dalmatian Pelicans on Lake Skadar are in the midst of their breeding season. Closely packed, the large birds are sitting on their nests – in the...

Dam project stopped for the present

++ Albanian Court stops dam project on the Vjosa ++ Success for nature conservation and affected residents ++

 

By using our services, you agree that we use cookies. Data protection